It must be every boater’s nightmare to be caught in the wind whilst trying to moor up and watch their boat sail (or in our case drift) off across the water WITHOUT THEM.
Thus was the case on our second morning when having successfully gone through the deepest lock on the river, Hubby got caught short for the loo on the other side.
Knowing there was a supermarket here, loos, and boating facilities of water and an elsan point, we decided to stop, and that was when our troubles began.
Hubby brought her in but as I alighted to get a rope, the wind caught us and I was alone on the shore. Hubby controlled the boat to have another go, but I still couldn’t reach a rope and had forgotten to bring the boat hook with me, so Hubby threw it like a javelin.
I latched onto the bow line whilst Hubby struggled to control her, shouting instructions at me which were lost in the wind.
I could not tie off for love nor money, and the boat swung out yet again almost taking me with it.
I got in one helluva mess, everything deserting my panicked mind, and Hubby getting angrier and more frustrated because he could do nothing to help me.
There were 4 other boats moored up but no-one was around to help, so we were on our own.
I eventually tied a ‘ what the hell is that!’ knot which at least held until Hubby could swing the helm in and secure the rear. I was shaking like a leaf, highly embarrassed and feeling totally inept, stupid and useless.
With the boat secure and me gathering my shattered wits as I sat on the bed, Hubby marched up to the gents.
When he got back, I had a cuppa waiting after which I went for a walk to do some ‘bun’ shopping and pick up some extra fruit and meat for sandwiches. I also bought some chocolate, of which I had a 28g bar (7½ syns). It didn’t make me feel better.
After apologising profusely for letting the side down, Hubby attached a cord to his knee and using our long-handled dustpan and brush as a mooring post, encouraged me in speed knots. Trees and rabbits were not mentioned, but up and under, over and through echoed through the boat for at least an hour. Then it was time for the BIG BOYS and doing it for real outside.
I got the hang of it, but we decided to stay put for the night as the wind had picked up again and we knew that at least 2 of the locks on the way to Offenham were swines for cross winds.
The forecast mentioned rain for the next two days, so we had visions of going back earlier than anticipated, which we weren’t very happy about.
On a good day though, the river is quite pretty.
View up river from mooring View down river towards lock from mooring.
All photos from our Stratford Trip 2015.